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A/N: Thanks for the support everyone's been giving. I think about five people (including my wife) have come to me saying, "OMG you made Jet x Katara make sense to me!" All I can say is that it didn't make sense to me until I had to sit and try to write it! Also...I think I finally managed to get my wife to find the appeal of Toph x Aang. Mwaha. More on those two later. Right now we've got other characters to focus on so we can start developing them as time goes on.

What I Learned at SRU
Chapter 5 - Uneasy

-Monday, August 30th, 2010-

["Hello, Dum-Dum. How's that Senioritis taste, huh? I can't believe you're literally going through with this. What will you do when school's over, Brother? Ugh. Anyway...If you care to know - though I imagine you don't - I'm going to go visit Father this Wednesday. But I'm sure your precious little classes at your precious little school are more important than your family. Since I'm sure you won't bother to come, I'll let you know how it goes. Give your emo girlfriend my regards, ZuZu.]

"Who was that, Zuko?" his girlfriend's scratchy voice inquired as she took a sip of her grape soda through a straw.

"Just some love from my sister," he bitterly explained, dropping his phone onto the table beside his plate. "She sends her regards, by the way."

"I'm sure she does," mused his girlfriend doubtfully as she plunged into her vegetables. She had thin, black hair cast over her thin face, often in lengthy pigtails, as was the case today. The goth look was hers entirely, from dark rings painted around her to eyes to deep purple lipgloss and a multiple ear piercings, with a ring on her left nostril for good measure.

"She's going to see our father this week," Zuko informed with disinterest.

"And...I take it you're not going?"

"Of course not, Mai. Why would I? I have nothing more to say to that man."

Mai shrugged and slurped her straw again. "Good," she muttered. "I was gonna tell you not to go, anyway." Those ragged eyes of hers sparked as she smirked in his direction. He returned the gesture and straightened his blood red tie before peeling open the previous Friday's issue of the campus newspaper, the White Lotus.

{Local Citizen Vandalizes President's Office}
{- Jin Ackland}

{This past Monday night, marking the start of the school year, our beloved President Bumi's office received some unwelcome company in the form of offensive graffiti left by a local citizen from Wayward. The graffiti was spray painted across the window of the office and portrayed an offensive message that the President has requested we not share. A security guard stationed that night caught the young man fleeing the scene and identified him as Jack Chavez, founder of a local organization known as the 'Freedom Fighters.' According to Chavez, he had intended to "[..] leave a message telling the president how I feel about the way the administration is being run." Jack refused to comment on specifics, but President Bumi seemed unfazed by his expressive statement. If anything, he seemed humored by it.}

Zuko stopped reading at the end of that paragraph when Mai asked, "Aren't you gonna eat your lunch, Zuko?"

"Right," he grunted, folding the paper up and setting it aside in favor of consuming his untouched meal. "So how is that Wildlife Photography course so far?" he wondered between bites of his bagel-tuna sandwich (with tomatoes).

"It seems interesting," said Mai with a gentle nod. "What about your stuff?"

"Business is business," Zuko huffed, running his hand across his slick, combed hair. "As usual."

"I'm sure you're going to find a good use for your talents," Mai encouraged, taking his hand and kissing it on the wrist.

"I know," he acknowledged calmly. "Sometimes it just all feels a bit too stuffy for my tastes."

"You're not going to go down the same path as your father, Zuko. If anything, I'm sure you've learned from his mistakes."

"Pah," Zuko blurted, gulping down his now lukewarm tea. "Guess that's one way of looking at it..."

"Hey-hey-hey!" sang out the sweet voice of Mai's bosom pal and roommate and she skipped over to their table, seating herself at Mai's side.

"Hi, Ty," Mai warmly greeted with a nod.

"Heya, guys!" the preppy girl piped, her eyes aglow with that ever-present wonder they always wore. "I'm off to class but I just thought I'd stop by."

"Hello, Ty-Lee," Zuko mumbled for the sake of proper social interaction.

"Hiiiii ZuuuZuuu," she loudly squawked with an exaggerated wave of her hand.

He didn't particularly like Ty-Lee. She was overly excited and tried too hard to be the center of attention wherever she went, in his opinion. He couldn't comprehend how Mai had ever become friends with this girl in the first place, but they had been roommates for all three years of school prior, so he figured there must have been something that had developed, if only through necessity in their first year. Dating Mai meant tolerating Ty-Lee. The prior was more than worth the latter, so tolerate he did.

Ty-Lee's body was the stuff of young male fantasies, and she was fully aware of this, constantly flaunting herself and her giant braid of hair, playing off as the 'hot ditsy cheerleader' type. It worked much more effectively than Zuko would have expected. It seemed like every other week there was a new boy at her side. She never committed to anything, and Zuko couldn't help but wonder exactly what kinds of things she got herself involved with. If anything, she seemed clever enough to manipulate the men around her for the smaller things, like food and favors.

"Kay-kay!" Ty chirped, bouncing back up to her feet. "Don't wanna be late. Byeeee~!"

After she had vanished down the stairs, Mai cocked an eyebrow at Zuko as he finished his sandwich.

"Don't look so excited to see my best friend today," she jested, clearly more amused than irate.

"I'm just balancing out her psychotic enthusiasm."

"I thought that was my job?"

"With Ty-Lee, even two depressed people aren't enough."

"Haha. Well..." Mai leaned over and placed both hands on his clean, acne-less face. "Come on, ZuZu," she said teasingly, running her skinny fingers down his temples, admiring his smooth, rigid face. "Let's go be depressed outside," she joked. "It's nice out today."

Sokka stood outside of the class, eying each student with as much nonchalance as he could.

Nope. Nope. Nooo. No. Noperoonie. No-no-no. Noooo-oh! Yes. Yes, yes, yes!

It was her. He hadn't been seeing things. That was entirely, 100%, without a doubt, the girl he had thought he'd seen when he'd walked into class. He'd been staring at the back of her head periodically throughout the session.

He caught up to her, grasping his textbook tightly to ensure he didn't drop it.

"Hey, Suki! Suki?" He dropped it, anyway.

"Huh?" The girl whirled around, hands clutched to her backpack straps. After he'd recovered his book, Sokka glanced up at her, staring wide-eyed back down at him. "Sokka," she murmured nervously, eyes shifting away.

"Suki." He cleared his throat and stood up. "I thought it was you..."

"Yea, I, uh..." She shrugged dismissively.

"You're back on campus," Sokka specified, still in shock. "I idea. I's been...Fff." He shook his head slowly. "Two, three years?"

"R-right, I..." Suki nodded quickly. "I was...I didn't even know I was gonna be here until a few weeks ago. I don't know, things just...-" She trailed off, and Sokka knew all too well that her fidgeting fingers were a sign that she was feeling bashful.

"N-no, that's-...Really, I mean, that's great," Sokka spat out, leading her out of the crowded hall and outside into the sun. "We should...I dunno, we should catch up."
Not alone, idiot. Don't put her on the spot.
"You can meet all my buds," he added in haste. "We could order pizza, watch a movie, have a get-together. Ya know?"

Suki shrugged but nodded her head to the side.

"Yea, that...That'd be great, Sokka."

"OK. Cool. Tomorrow night work for you?"

"Yes, tomorrow...would be fine." Suki's uncharacteristically sheepish actions had Sokka wondering if she was feeling nervous for the same reasons he was.

"Awesome. Stop on by Aero at seven, we'll all meet you in the main lounge."

"OK. Sure." A small smirk emerged as her eyes relaxed.

There we go. A smile. Honest to goodness smile. Great.

"Uh, I'll...let you go, then," Sokka said with a shrug, waving her off as he slowed his pace to allow her to speed away to whatever it was she was up to next. He sighed a deep, relieved sigh, his stomach tied in knots. That could've gone a lot worse. He gathered his bearings, spun around, and dove right back into the building he'd just exited, another class session looming ahead, minutes away.

"Suki Kyoshi?" Katara gasped, slack-jawed. "As in, 'girl-you-dated-freshman-year,' Suki Kyoshi?"

"I know!" Sokka delightfully squealed as he connected the cables to the back of the TV. "I can't believe it." The lounge of the second floor of Aero was free on this particular Monday evening, and Sokka had decided to hook up the communal Wii he and Aang had split for the year prior to a larger TV with more space than their cramped dorm room provided.

"Someone's still got a crush," Toph teased with a grin, kicking her feet up over Aang's lap as she lay on her back across the carpet, arms spread out. Aang tickled at her dirty, sockless feet, and she kicked, barely containing a giggle, before frowning at the ceiling. "Hey," she threatened. "No tickle."

"OK," Aang pouted, patting her bare shin.

"We did date for a while," Sokka admitted, rubbing his forehead contemplatively. "Only reason we broke up was 'cuz she transferred. It just wasn't gonna work out...We're not cut for long distance."

"But she's back now." Katara nodded approvingly, her arms folded across her chest with confidence.

This is great, Sokka! This is just what you need. A new opportunity. You can't let the past tie you down forever.

"Sooo...Is this Fearsome Foursome about to become a Fearsome Fivesome?" Toph bluntly inquired as Aang watched her methodically rotate her ankles.

"Wh-whoa, hey, wait up, guys," Sokka fumbled, nearly dropping the light blue game disc as he slid into the sleek white box. "I don't know what's gonna happen here, and you guys are gonna have to play it cool or we're both gonna feel awkward."

"And no one likes an awkward Sokka," Aang declared in a deep voice.

"See?" Sokka chuckled. "Just be idiots like that. Like usual." He switched on the TV and pressed the power button on the console. He scooped up the white remote control and clicked a button, then imitated the calming sound effect that greeted players upon booting up the system's menu.

"Yay," said Toph, slapping the backs of her hands against the floor gently. "Wii time."

"Yup," Aang uttered, sliding out from under Toph's legs. She reached out her arms like a baby and he grabbed them, tugging her weight off the ground.

"Same as usual?" Katara ventured from the middle of the sofa they had pushed back as Aang sat beside her, setting Toph on the couch's edge. Sokka plopped down on Katara's right, and pointed the remote at the screen, selecting the appropriate panel. A brief flute ditty played and the game began to load.

"I'm gonna crush you guys," Toph bragged, flexing her right arm. Aang squished her arm muscles between his hand and laughed.

"Probably," he conceded, pressing down on the muscle hidden beneath her skin.

Sokka navigated the menu of Wii Sports, selecting the group favorite: Bowling. Their settings saved from their previous game months before, things started right up. Sokka rose and carefully aligned his character.

"C'mon, Sokka," Katara encouraged. "Show us whatcha got."

He pulled back his arm and swung forward, releasing the buttons and letting his ball roll down the lanes. He knocked a few down before throwing another and picking up a ["Nice Spare!"]. Sokka passed the controller to his sister, who managed to only pull off a seven, and Aang also earned a spare.

"Gimme," Toph demanded, her palm outstretched. Aang laid the remote in her hand, barely suppressing a giggle. Toph immediately caught on and narrowed her eyes at no on in particular as she stood up. "Nice try, jerk," she spat out playfully, rotating the remote to its correct position. She held it up before her and pressed down the trigger button, pulling down her hand and gracefully flicking her arm forward in the motion of a bowling throw. The ball on the screen whizzed forward, twisting just a hair to the side. It clattered into the pins, knocking them all over.

["Nice throw!"] the game announced, flashing in bright gold letters the word [Strike].

"Fuck yea!" Toph jubilantly crowed with a maniacal laugh, recognizing the sound effects.

"And here it comes," Katara sighed nostalgically, recalling the process that occurred whenever this happened.

"Damnit, Toph, you're not supposed to win at any video games," Sokka grumbled, pouting as the remote was passed down the cough back to him. "I was hoping you'd be rusty..."

"It's all about the right touch," Toph explained arrogantly, shrugging as she sat back down. Aang shook his head, face lit up in amusement. As Sokka took his turn, Aang took Toph's hand, kissing her wrist. "That's right," said Toph, still overflowing with confidence. "Kiss the magic hand, Baby."

"Psh. Well, someone is full of themselves today," Aang noticed, dropping her hand suddenly. "No more kisses for you today."

"Whaaaht?" Toph whimpered, punching him in the shoulder. "It's not my fault I'm so ridiculously talented."

"But it is your fault that you're such a sore winner," Katara poked slyly, rolling her digital bowling ball.

"You really are," Aang agreed, yanking on her ear. She let out a grouchy 'Rrm' as he did so, drumming her fingers impatiently on her legs.

Katara huffed with a light foot stamp.

"Dangit...Stupid split." She crumpled back into her seat as Aang took up the call. Another spare later and Toph eagerly swung her mystical motion, scoring another strike.

"Friggin' eh!" Sokka shouted disapprovingly, slapping his knee in frustration.

"Bahaha!" Toph chortled with glee.

"It's just a game, guys," Katara reminded them as she handed the remote to her competitive brother. She was relieved to see him at least getting upset over something that wasn't a girl. Well, a girlfriend, rather.

Then it struck her: if Suki and Sokka got involved with each other once again, she'd be the odd one out. She'd be spending her time surrounded by two couples with a boyfriend who couldn't even come visit her.

Oh, Jet. Why does this have to be so damned difficult?

-Tuesday, August 31st, 2010-

"Well, yea, Kat, that's gonna happen," Smellerbee insisted with a snort, sitting on Katara's bed, her back propped into the corner wall on the side of the entrance. "No reason to break up with the guy."

"I guess," Katara sighed, fidgeting her fingers through her thick hair as she tied it into a large single braid. "What do you think, Toph?" she wondered.

Toph, relaxing in her bed on her stomach, puffed some air out of her nose, considering a response. Katara observed the careful doubt in her expression, half buried in her drool-stained pillow.

"Honestly?" she began, rotating her body so her face was fully exposed. "I just don't know if this guy is a good fit for you, Katara."

"You think so?" Katara murmured regretfully.


Smellerbee would be biased in his favor, naturally. But then again, I guess Toph would be biased against him, wouldn't she?

"Seriously," Toph continued, "It just seems like every time the guy gets brought up, you get upset. And your brother gets upset. And then you guys argue. Jet never wants to do anything with us, he's busy with all of this junk with his group..." Toph rubbed her fingers through her bangs and groaned, shaking her head. "Just sayin'."

"He's a busy guy," Smellerbee admitted. "That doesn't mean you shouldn't give him a chance." She rolled her head around slowly, stretching out her neck. "He really cares about the people around here, that's why he works so hard."

"Hey," Toph said defensively. "He seems like a nice guy, don't get me wrong. I'm just saying, he might not be a good fit for Katara."

"I really ought to talk with him," Katara decided out loud as she rested her chin upon her wrists, arms sprawled across the head of her chair, which was she sitting on backwards. Her anxious mind snapped around like a rubber band. "Dangit," she grumbled, slapping her chair.

"What?" Smellerbee wondered.

"Tonight," Katara sighed. "I told Jet I'd see him tonight. I almost forgot..."

"Forgetting when you're supposed to see your boyfriend. That's a good sign," came a sarcastic observation from Toph.

"That means I won't be able to hang out with you guys and Suki tonight," Katara clarified, hand on her forehead.

"Meh," Toph dismissed. "We'll be fine. Twinkle-Toes and I will keep Sokka from acting normal."

"Huh?" Smellerbee was puzzled.

"If he tries to act normal," Toph explained, "it'll be a total fail. He'll just be awkward."

Katara shot a clever smile to the red-head in the corner as she let her hand slip off her head. "In case you couldn't tell, my brother doesn't do 'normal.'"

"Sokka's gonna be pissed," Toph warned, grinning sneakily.

"I know," whimpered Katara with empathy. "But I told Jet back on Saturday that I was free this Tuesday."

"Hey, not your fault Sokka made plans without asking us first," was Toph's apathetic argument.

"Right," Katara acknowledged, trying to wipe guilt away from herself. Sokka had made that committment, not her. "Hey, Bee, did Jet mention when I was supposed to see him tonight?"

Smellerbee shook her head, then scratched at her freckled cheek.

"Hmph." Katara frowned thoughtfully, tapping her finger on her head. "Maybe after dinner I'll just go up to see him, then."

"You sure he's not gonna be busy?" Smellerbee inquired.

"Even if he is," Katara insisted, "I want to surprise him."

"Ah," Smellerbee huffed. "Jet don't like surprises much. Especially when he's busy."

"Well, either way, we need to get some dinner," Katara crossed around the topic.

Toph yawned and rubbed her stomach as it gurgled.

"Speaking of dinner, what time is it?" she moaned. "I skimped on lunch today and I'm freakin' starving."

"Uh, well..." Katara twisted her head around to the laptop on her desk behind her. "It's quarter to five," she advised after a brief glance at the corner of the screen. "We should probably get goin'. I'm sure the boys are already there waiting for us."

Toph slid off her bed and into her shoes, stretching out her arms lazily.

"You coming?" Katara asked their gruff neighbor.

"Nah," she replied flipping out her cell phone as she passed out into the hallway before them. "I'm gonna eat dinner with Longshot. I'll catch you tonight."

"OK," Katara muttered with a shrug, trying to look unfazed.

Katara had spent the entire summer separated from all of her friends, clinging onto every relationship by strings of e-mail, text messages, and phone calls. Each relationship was compartmentalized, as was her romance with Jet. Now that she was back on campus, all of the practical aspects that didn't come into play in the last couple of weeks of class the year prior were not coming together as she would've hoped. She was torn between two groups of people and neither seemed all to keen on the other - not to mention that one of them made her feel out of place. Being alone with Jet was OK, being with Smellerbee was fine, but being in that group...She wasn't so sure about that anymore.

Tugged back and forth between two social groups. Geez. Something's gonna have to give here.

Toph's arm locked around hers, bringing her back in the moment.

"Onward, to dinner!" Toph declared, waving her arm forward haphazardly.

Toph had been correct: Sokka was pissed - but it also wasn't any fault of Katara's. Apparently he'd been counting on there being a neutral female without a mle companion to help make Suki feel comfortable - especially since Suki and Katara had at least met on a couple of occasions. She had left the three of them to gorge themselves on dessert whie she opted to head out and surprise Jet with an earlier-than-expected visit. She checked her phone to see if she had gotten a reply to the message she'd sent his way an hour prior - she had inquired as to the concert he had mentioned before.

[From: Jet]
[yea babe concert at 8 tonite ill come get u at 7:30 k?]
[Sent: August 31st, 5:23pm]

Katara had decided that in an effort to show her interest in him she was going to pay him an early visit, in that case. Jet was always good at surprising her, after all, and she was feeling energetic today. Maybe if she could work on things with Jet, then he'd be more open to spending time with her friends, and thus they wouldn't be so down on him. Smellerbee had mentioned the Treetop Pub, the common meeting place for the Freedom Fighters, so Katara decided that this was where she'd pay a visit first.

As she hit the bottom of the cafeteria stairs and passed through the main lobby, closing her phone, she almost ran straight into an enormous dark-skinned student in a baskbetball jersey - she recognized him from Appa's a week prior. The guy was so unnaturally huge that he was hard to forget, after all, and she had seen him around campus a few times. He was definitely a freshman, she could tell.

"Sorry!" she squeaked, narrowly avoiding colliding with his beefy arm. He turned and nodded.

"No prob," his thick voice grunted as she scurried off.

Get your head out of the clouds, girl. You'll get this sorted out.

The drive to Wayward didn't exactly ease her mind as the only radio station that came in clearly on the drive down was started with a song about breaking up, which plagued her uneasy mind. Next, a song played that seemed to come on every single time she drove, pushing Katara's patience over the edge.

[~"I got a feeling"~"that tonight's gonna be a good night"~]

She immediately switched the radio off.

"Tonight is not going to be a good night if I have to hear this song one more time," she growled aloud. Normally, were she driving with her friends, they'd all partake in their own bits of the song, but the thought of this only pushed her conscience toward the idea that Jet was not included in this ritual, or any fond rituals she and her friends shared. Her mind was awash in a river of stress and contradiction as she parked into the Treetop's lot and fluttered into the pub like a hummingbird. The bar had a few faces - some Katara recognized - but no Jet. She approached the bartender and inquired as to his whereabouts.

"Oh, Jet? Well, I...Huh." He scratched his fat chin thoughtfully. Too thoughtfully. He shrugged. "Sorry, toots, can't say I recall where he said he was goin' off to."

"All right," Katara murmured, her eyes quickly darting to the bar-goers as the words "Thanks anyway," slipped out. Pretty much everyone in the bar at the moment was one of Jet's employees or compatriots. That meant he couldn't be far away, right? She opted to take a trip to the bathroom while she waited for his return.

She decided that she'd send some messages while sat in her stall.

[To: Jet]
[Hey, Hun. Where are you right now? Are you at the Treetop somewhere?]
[Sent: 6:36pm]

[To: Sokka]
[Is Suki with you guys? You're not flipping out, are you?]
[Sent: 6:37pm]

[To: Aang]
[Is Sokka flipping out yet?]
[Sent: 6:38pm]


[From: Jet]
[no im at the office im busy babe ill come get u soon]
[Sent: 6:38pm]

Katara sighed, drumming her fingers grumpily.

[To: Jane]
[Hey, Bee, do you know where Jet is right now?]
[Sent: 6:39pm]


Katara switched off her vibrate function to spare herself the irritation of the sound.

[From: Sokka]
[No, she's not here yet. It's cool. I got this.]
[Sent: 6:40pm]

[From: Aang]
[he is totally flippin out]
[Sent: 6:40pm]

A wide smile crawled over Katara's face.

[From: Toph]
[toph says yea he totally is freakin out please save us]
[Sent: 6:41pm]

Oftentimes, receiving messages from Toph's phone meant that she had tasked Aang with typing a message out for her.

[From: Aang]
[now hes just walkin round nervous]
[Sent: 6:42pm]

[From: Aang]
[he just stubbed his toe on the couch haha]
[Sent: 6:42pm]

[From: Sokka]
[You guys are jerks, you know that?]
[Sent: 6:43pm]

Look at you, Katara. You're here to see your boyfriend and what are you doing? You're trying to hang out with the people you really want to be with right now through your phone.

Katara's heart sank and her stomach lurched with a deep, uneasy sensation. Maybe her brother was right?

I guess I must not want to see him all that much...

[From: Jane]
[i dunno i thought he was pikin you up later]
[Sent: 6:44pm]

Katara finished up her business, washed her hands, applied sanitizer, and exited the bathroom.

That's not entirely true. I want to see Jet. I do!

Katara's wish was granted as she emerged into the pub's back hallway, only to encounter Jet exiting the back room she had never had reason to venture into. He was leading a bunch of shady-looking types into the main area of the bar. She managed to follow suit at the tail end with none the wiser.

"The Freedom Fighters greatly appreciate your patronage, ladies and gents," Jet announced, shaking their hands as they each passed by and bidding them farewell. Then he reached a hand she was sure he'd recognize. "K-Katara?" He had clearly not been expecting her.

"Jack," she greeted curtly, using his real name with force shaking his hand firmly to the point of likely hurting him a bit. Her foot started thumping the floor and she crossed her arms. "Uhh...What was that about?" she demanded. "I thought you were at 'the office?' Last I checked, this wasn't your office."

"Wh-Well, I was...-" he began, and she could see his fear dissolve away as he layered on that coat of 'cool' she had been gradually catching on to. "Just after you sent that message, I-"

"Don't lie to me, Jack," Katara hissed loudly, making sure his employees could hear. "Who were those people?"

"They're supporters of our cause," Jack explained calmly. "They're going to make donations at our charity gig tonight."

"Uh-huh," Katara slowly grumbled, her lower jaw propping out irritably.

"Seriously," Jack insisted. "All of the money they're giving will be going to a good cause. I swear." He was speaking genuinely, Katara could see it in his eyes. Then why did it feel like something was up? "What's your problem, Katara?"

"I just find it funny that you told me you weren't here but here you were."

"Geez, Katara, it's not like I was-"

"It's like you didn't want me to come here to meet you or something."

"Why would I-?"

"Why would you not want me to come here if this was just some normal meeting?"

"Kat, calm down, would ya? Everybody's staring."

"I am calm!" Katara growled, her fists clenched.

He's hiding something, damnit. What is he hiding from me?

Then she noticed that everyone was, in fact, staring. She didn't let it bother her, though. She took a deep breath and settled her nerves, letting her arms relax.

I sort of came here looking to find out some dirt on him, didn't I? That's...probably a bad sign. Am I just being neurotic?

"Then be more calm," Jack quietly requested in a panic. "You're making me look bad in front of my people, here."

Katara's heart was tugged by the pleading panic in his eyes and she ended her inquisition with a sigh, grabbing her now aching head. Jack swiftly dove in to comfort her with a hug.

"Hey. Babe. I don't know what's eating you lately, but if this is gonna work you're gonna have to...chill out. OK?"

Something. Isn't. Right.

"Y-yea, I know," she sputtered out before she could control what she wanted to say. Now his arms were around her, and before she had the willpower to change that, they were in a kiss and her eyes slid shut. Katara wondered if this was what smoking was like - she knew it was bad for her, but she kept letting herself do it. When they broke apart, her eyes popped back open and she took a deep breath, easing herself out of his grasp as casually as she could.

"Did you eat already?" he wondered.

You're trying to change the subject.

She nodded slowly, her gaze avoiding his as she massaged her temple.

"Ah. Well, uh, I haven't yet," he spat out, running his hand through his hair, "and I wasn't expecting you to come this soon, so..."

"Yea," Katara acknowledged with a shrug, refusing to get sucked into those dakr eyes. "You should go get something to eat."

"Are you, uh...You wanna come?"

"Oh, um...I think I just-" she shrugged, shaking her head, "I need some time to cool off, so you go ahead, I'll stick around here."

"All right." He gave her a gentle squeeze on the shoulder. "I'll just go grab something and come back here."


As those cowboy boots of his clopped off across the wooden floor of the pub, Katara headed out through the back door, stuffing her hands into her hoodie pocket.

Would she tell me the truth? If I asked?

After a moment of hesitation, Katara pulled out her cell phone from her hoodie and scrolled through her contacts list.


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My wife finally started reading and is apparently absolutely loving it. Which is a breakthrough. She's been saying pretty much the exact same kinds of things you guys have. So that's a good sign. And no, don't go assuming that just because she's my wife she'd be head over heels for my work - usually she's kind of 'meh' about my writing because it usually doesn't appeal to her, topic-wise.

Also - I needed some type of video game Toph could actually play. Then I remembered that time I played Wii Bowling from a different room and still got strikes. :XD: "Fuck yea" indeed, my girl.

Just to be clear, next chapter will be following up right where this one leaves off, meaning Suki will be introduced more properly and more of this Jet/Katara stuff will be explored.
Add a Comment:
mackenzie99 Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Right when I read Ty-lees name I thought about her being a cheer leader :P it seemed preety obvious that she would though.
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Ty-Lee's been a fun side character to work with. :) It's easy to dismiss side characters until you start thinking about why they're the way they are.
thetaleof2sisters Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012
Oh...I like the way you did Mai. I just stopped to comment, because this is really good. Can't stop reading!
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I pleasantly surprised myself with Mai. I didn't expect I would like her very much, but she has certainly grown on me.
Thanks for reading, I hope you continue to enjoy the story.
Dakota-hauck Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
I just started this and it's pretty awesome :D
Ciupakabra Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2012
After the intro of the first chapter i just can't wait till she leaves Jet...
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Heheh, yea, believe me, I couldn't wait for that, either. xD
popwiz15 Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Why the bleck is pipsqueak a basketball player and not with the F.F.
UltimateTophFanatic Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
lol toph dominates at Wii Bowling!! xD
Alura-the-Sage Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Man, I love this! It's just got a great feel to it, especially for a fan fiction story. Lighthearted, but not too fluffy; taking artistic liberties, but still staying true to the characters (I especially enjoy seeing the characters' modern interests!). How many chapters do you have written, and how many are you planning to write? I hope it's a lot!
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I am currently partway through 86, with a planned total of 100. I expect to finish the story this fall. I've been looking at it as if I'm writing a TV show or a comic -- a longer, serialized story, yet one with a fairly firm skeleton and a defined ending, so as to not drag on forever.

I'm glad you're liking it so far, I hope you enjoy it and that it's worth your time. Please do check out all of the amazing artwork, too (though you may want to wait until you're caught up so as to avoid spoilers). [link]
thebandmaster Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
one word...intence
Midnight4568 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2012
I like how you make the words bolded for when they are auto-generated in a voice message.
Hmm, AU Mai is sort of picturable.
Nice incorporation of the White Lotus!
Who is going to be Uncle Iroh in this story?
XD, President Bumi. Now I get why, in a previous chapter, he made his secretary take a picture of the vandalized window.
Ohhh! Jet's real name is Jack?
Zuko DOES seem like a bagel-tuna sandwich (with tomatoes) kind of person.
O_O Mai takes Wildlife Photography in this story?
I can imagine Zuko not particularly liking Ty Lee.
Noperoonie. :P
Yay, you're introducing Suki into the story.
Seems like everyone has Kyoshi as Suki's last name...
If Toph is that good at Wii bowling, would she be just as good at real-life bowling?
Poor Katara. But being "tugged back and forth between two social groups" means she's popular!
Was the "enormous student in a basketball jersey" Pipsqueak, from the Freedom Fighters?
Wow, I cannot picture Katara saying "Jack" instead of "Jet."
With Katara saying "I AM calm!" I can imagine her face looking like it did in the episode "The Chase," where she was arguing with Toph.
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Yes, it was Pipsqueak. He only has cameos in the story, The Duke has a minor role later on.

And yea, "I AM calm" did come from that. xD I work in lots of references/homage to the show when it makes sense.
ShodanAllen Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012
favorite thing: Sokka tries not to drop his book, but drops it anyway.
Shopaholic98 Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2011
Aww you're married! That's so sweet! Hehe! :D
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2011  Hobbyist Writer

You're not fully caught up yet...
Shopaholic98 Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2011
I'm never caught up... I'm usually last when it comes to catching up....hehe
captianjakmoose Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2011  Student Writer
Your a great author, i love the way you portray the whole gaang!
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks, I try hard to make them feel familiar but "modern." =)
ariatwi Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
oh snap,this is getting goooood ♥
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Haha, you're still very early on. ;) Have fun.
ariatwi Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
PurpleSmurf8 Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2011
The gaang playing wii bowling haha and Toph kicking butt once again!
Great chapter! Curious what is going to happen with Jet! And see Suki in the story! :D
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks! I hope you enjoy where the story goes.
pimpHO87 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2011
wow, I've been up for 2 hours reading your fan fic from the prologue to Ch 5. This stuff is addicting.
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Glad to hear it!
Avatarluv97 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
u rule man! =D
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Haha, for what? What did I do?
MEl0N-l0Rd Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
haha. zuko how i missed you. and poor sokka. :D
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
I admit that Zuko isn't as important as other characters but he has his role to play. =)
7StepsToHell Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2010
Really enjoyed this chapter. Toph + Wii Bowling = Awesome. Also, the texting between the group cracked me up hahaha Good stuff.

Well done good sir, well done :D

The whole Katara/Jet thing is starting to get dicey, can't wait to see where you take it from here.

Update soon!
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the feedback, glad those parts struck a chord.

Mm, yes, dicey indeed.
AlmostLiterally Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2010
You are great at dialogue. :)

Oooh man, Jet's texts make me cringe. Hahah, I use correct capitalization, punctuation, grammar, and spelling.
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks. =)

And yea, I like using texts/multimedia because it helps give a more realistic spin to the characters. Like Katara and Sokka use perfect grammar, Aang is like so-so, Jet is just BLUURG SAY THING.
AlmostLiterally Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2010
Hahaha! Yep. It also shows how good you are with the small details. Consistency, I mean, with keeping Toph and Aang's texts in the same style, since he is writing them for her.
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
My wife said the same thing about small details, her favorite one so far being the Beethoven's 5th Symphony ringtone for Toph's parents. :XD:
elyon192 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2010
HA HA!!!!
Aang seems like the guy that would update his facebook status right away anytime something happens!!!! :D
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Probably. I will likely incorporate Facebook into it at some point some how. Not sure if it'll be literal (like Mario Facebook) or in text.
Draw4life Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
the question is, how would you make it literal (like Mario Facebook) if it can't be visual?
Destiny-Smasher Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Well, that's just it - I'd do something literally visual. It would be supplementary, I suppose.
Draw4life Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
oh, okay. maybe do both?
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